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Adaptive Optics Program Deputy Lead

W. M. Keck Observatory, Kamuela, HI, United States
Employer Description

The W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) operates two 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes and an associated suite of advanced instrumentation, including laser guide star adaptive optics (AO) facilities. These telescopes have been extremely productive scientifically and have allowed the WMKO science community to play a leading role in understanding the universe from our solar system, to exoplanets, black holes, the earliest galaxies, and dark matter and energy. Scientific competitiveness is maintained through the development and implementation of new instrumentation, as well as upgrades to the existing science instruments and facilities. Current WMKO AO development activities include new real-time controllers and a new laser, laser tomography, PSF-reconstruction, near-infrared tip-tilt and pyramid wavefront sensors, and a fiber injection unit to a spectrograph. Several new Keck AO-fed science instruments are also in the design phase at Caltech and the University of California.

Job Description

Are you ready to join a dynamic and dedicated team that implements challenging engineering projects for astronomical science?

The AO Program Deputy Lead will be actively involved in the development and optimization of the Keck AO systems from initial concepts and proposals through development to science operations. They will be expected to take on leadership roles at the level of principal investigator, project manager and/or system architect, and to work closely with the WMKO science and international AO communities to achieve WMKO’s AO objectives.


Apply to join a skilled and deeply committed team of professionals who enable exciting and important astronomical discoveries. Submit a cover letter and resume telling us how your background and passion relate to the position.  Cover letters can be addressed to Jeannette Mundon, Human Resources.

To learn more about this position and to apply, go to: https://keckobservatory.applicantpro.com/jobs/.

WMKO is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and in a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA. WMKO offers competitive benefits including relocation assistance and eligible dependent independent school tuition assistance.

All qualified applicants, including women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply for all open positions at the W. M. Keck Observatory.

WMKO is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Job Requirements
  • Ph.D. level degree in AO or high angular resolution astronomy, or equivalent experience.
  • Four years of relevant experience in the development and/or use of AO for astronomical research.
  • A broad understanding of the multiple engineering disciplines needed to develop AO systems, with detailed knowledge of at least one of opto-mechanical systems or real-time AO algorithm implementations.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills.
  • Ability to develop a concept from an initial proposal to a fully functional and operational system.
09 November 2019
09 December 2019
Research and Development